why do they call it death valley

Bags packed, car loaded, iPod synched and off we head to Yosemite National Park. I think the usual drive from Vegas is around 6 hours but we thought wed take the scenic route through Death Valley National Park which is about 8 hours. A bit much to squeeze into one day so we booked a stopover at a Travelodge in Mammoth Lakes (about 2 hours from Yosemite). The drive through Death Valley was stunning, miles and miles of mountains, cactuses, sand dunes and windy roads. I know this place has a reputation of being hot but wow, the only thing I can liken it to is the feeling you get when opening the oven! We were keeping an eye on the cars thermostat and at the peak it was47
C!! Theres a few viewpoints along the route to stop and take snaps but just being out of the car for 5 mins left us sweating head to toe. Even I could feel my skin instantly burning (and I rarely burn even in the sun all day! ). So make sure you enter with a full tank of fuel, plenty of water and sunscreen! We met a family from South Korea at one of the photo points, which we later learnt were very forgetful! The Dad only went and drove off having forgot one of his kids! Fortunately he did realise about 30 seconds later and turned back, or maybe he just realised that wed clocked him trying to get rid Before reaching Travelodge we drove through a few typically American looking towns.


When stopping at the gas station we were half expecting a creature to come up and swallow us, it looked just like a scene from the Tremors movie! There was also loads of ranches along the way with rows and rows of drying cow skins hanging over fences which wasnt nice to see but Nick reminded me my bag was leather which quickly shut me up! It was much, much cooler when we arrived in Mammoth Lakes so wish me luck camping in Yosemite, Im lacking my usual onesie and dressing gown! If you liked this post please be sure to to our free weekly newsletter. This will ensure you are up-to-date with our latest blogs, property advice and travel tips. You can also follow us on, and. Since place-name pronunciation is rising in popularity again as a subject for TA threads, here is a short list of pronunciations and explanations for some Death Valley and nearby place names. If anyone has other names to add, please do so. If there are names you wonder about, ask away, and some of us will do our best to find out. Many names are of Shoshone or other non-English origin and need special care. When you see pah or pa in Shoshone names, it often has to do with water; for instance, Pahrump may mean water rock or water in the rock and Tonopah may mean hot water in the trees or trees in the hot water.


- Amargosa: This is a river with no arm. Many people mispronounce it as Armagosa. The Spanish word for bitter was applied to the briny or brackish waters in and near Death Valley. - Aguereberry: Ah-gur-berry. Favorite Panamint range vista point and namesake of French Basque prospector Pierre (Pete) Aguereberry. Contrary to his fathers wishes, he followed gold fever to California in the early 20th century at age 19, and never left. He is buried at the Lone Pine Cemetery on Hwy 395. - Ballarat: Bal-uh-rat. Small mining settlement in the Panamint Valley, named for a rich Australian gold mining region. , not meaty. Named for early settler Montillus Murphy Beatty. - Joburg: Local nickname for Johannesburg, a historic gold mining settlement south of Death Valley. It is in a cluster that also includes Randsburg, Red Mountain, and Atolia. Randsburg and Joburg were named for places in, which is known for its mineral wealth. - Nevares: neh-VAR-es. A spring and peak in the Funeral Mountains are named for Dolph Nevares, a local prospector in the 1900s. - Olancha: Soft ch as in chip.


- Pahrump: Unlike most of us, Pahrump emphasizes its rump. Say pah-RUMP, not PAH-rump. - Rhyolite: Rye-o-lite. Geologically, its an igneous volcanic rock with high quartz content. I dont know why the town was named for it. - Shoshone: In California, it has three syllables. In some areas, the e is not pronounced. I believe the 3-syllable version is correct, because the name of this ethnic group is believed to come from their word sosoni, meaning tall grass. Many more Shoshone people live in places where there actually is tall grass, like, and. This is the name of a town east of DVNP. - Strozzi: Common NPS pronunciation is strah-zee. Former family ranch just over the line settled by Cesar Strozzi, now part of the remote section of the park called the Nevada Triangle. - Tecopa: Teh-coe-puh. Small town near Shoshone, named for a local chief. - Tonopah: Toe-nuh-pah. The next sizeable town north of Beatty, and county seat of Nye County. - Tucki: Tuck-eye. The prominent mountain south of Hwy 190 that overlooks, named for a Shoshone word for sheep. - Ubehebe: I once had someone ask how to get to Heebie-Jeebie Crater.


Luckily, we have few major craters, so it was clear what they wanted. Say every syllable: you-be-he-be. Take care as well with its smaller neighboring crater, Little Hebe: he-be. As for the name of the wondrous county in which most of Death Valley National Park lies, it is called Inyo. And it was not named that because just about everything in the county is in yo face, although that is certainly true. This one county is blessed with the: * Highest point in the Lower 48 states of the, Mt. Whitney. * Largest fault scarp formation in the US, Telescope Peak. * Lowest point in North America,. * Deepest valley in the Western Hemisphere, Owens Valley (nearly 10,000 feet deep). * One of the oldest trees in the whole world, in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest (exact location kept secret by scientists, to protect it). * A population density of 1. 8 per square mile in its 10,000+ square miles. Compared with s (17,000) or Manhattans (69,000, eeeek), is it any wonder why city folk fall in love with Inyo County? As for the place name, it is believed to be from a Native American word meaning dwelling place of a great spirit. Along with being in yo face, Inyo County is certainly that.

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